Thursday, January 26, 2012

We are required to make something beautiful

"May my silences become more accurate."  

~ Theodore Roethke

There is this impulse to check the email first thing in the morning, look in on Facebook, check my Flickr page, post a photo....but I've been trying to quell that impulse, and get back to doing what I've always done, and that is, write in my journal.  Read random passages from random books.  So. Much. Better.

This is the way to ensure our silences become more accurate.  To live in the silences, to feel and embrace them.  To let these silences hold and carry us through a day that requires us to not quite exactly be ourself, at least not our creative self, poet or writer or artist self.

This morning's gleanings and pilferings:

"What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible."

"We are condemned to singing when we can;
Each long root blossoms to a different sun."

"The barrenness of the poetic task:  as if every day we look out at a courtyard of rubble and from this are required to make something beautiful."  

and last but not least:

"Eternal apprenticeship is the life of the true poet."

all of the above from Straw for the Fire, by Theodore Roethke

I have been speaking to so many exhausted poets, writers, these days, and I am exhausted myself. But still this pull toward the poetic task, which I find very beautiful.  This feeling that we are required to make something out of what we have, to sing in the limited time we have, to make something of the rubble.  It's heartening, I think, to know that we have company in this eternal apprenticeship of ours.  


  1. I love everything about this post - just what I needed to encounter today. I think this is the third time I've visited already!

  2. Thank you dear Brenda. So glad you liked it.

  3. MY "impulse" is to ALWAYS read your blog. It is truly as you write: "heartening" and a comfort to know "we have company".
    I connect easily with the beautiful thoughts shared. Yesterday it was the word "dither" in your poem.
    Today the word "rubble" jumps out as I consider it in my life; your thoughts give me motivation to attempt to transform it.

  4. Shawna, You put words to the delicate of writing and art.
    When I write poetry, I go far away from my computer to write the first draft. I cannot open my computer without being drawn in at least a little to the worlds it includes, and the thoughts and feelings for the poem are lost or diluted.


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